I had the supreme pleasure of reading with McCann a couple of weeks ago at KGB, though I'd first heard him read in 2006 at the New School, along with Noelle Kocot and Joshua Beckman. I remember feeling astonished, and utterly so, by all three of them. The night felt *important*—and not just to me—but to POETRY, whatever that is.
McCann has a new book just out from Wave Books, called "I Heart Your Fate," and it's really, truly incredible. Reading it is like wading into the Adriatic Sea on an overcast July morning and feeling something slimy grip around your calf—so you look down and feel relieved that (of course, haha) it's just seaweed—then you realize it's actually *not* just seaweed, but rather the pulsing tentacle of some creature so slobbery and horrifying not even your own mother would believe your description of it. That is, if you lived to tell them, which you won't. Sucked under, friend, into the unforgiving brine.
Then someone, a gorgeous and close acquaintance, calls to you from the sand (near the beach blanket and umbrella) that THE HOT DOGS ARE READY, or that YOU SHOULD REALLY PUT SUNSCREEN ON. And you realize it *was* just seaweed, but your heart is pounding and legs are shaking and maybe just to be safe, you think to yourself, it's a good idea to stay out of the water awhile. Then when you get back to the beach towel it's the most brilliant beach towel you've ever seen and your gorgeous acquaintance is so gorgeous it's hard to believe you're both the same animal and you eat four hot dogs in a row without bothering to squirt them with ketchup and you stare up at the shimmering cloud cover and make secret promises to God.
Anyway, that's what reading McCann's book is kind of like. Maybe it's not for everybody, but I'd bet you'd like it
Here's a clip of him reading from it (warning, one of the poems prominently features a VAGINA):